Mother and daughter relationships can be complex but are also filled with compassion and love.
Two years ago, my mom decided to take care of her parents, both 88 yrs old. My grandmother was raised in a different era and in hard times. When she migrated to the US, in the 50’s, she didn’t speak a word of English and she struggled to give her family a better life. I have to admire her for her courage and determination. I cringe knowing what I’m about to write next, I have never witnessed my grandmother hug or say I love you to my mom, however, she was affectionate with her grand-kids.
Naturally, this created a challenging environment when they moved in. Watching my mother take care of her parents was not a walk in the park. My grandmother is demanding and my mom struggled with this on a daily basis.
After a stressful year, my mom had to learn how to surrender and accept who my grandmother is – whether she likes the person or not. My mom is a patient and strong woman. Yet, in my opinion, my mom may have benefited from a couple of therapy sessions.
She did not allow the beliefs and programs of her mother to create her reality. She chose to master her reality by selecting happiness over grief and peace over judgment.
Don’t get me wrong, there were moments of love and tenderness and my grandmother helped her out by providing financially. However, at night when no one is around, I believe my mom longs for that type of mother/daughter relationship – with unconditional love and acceptance.
Growing up for me was simple… life was less complicated… perhaps I wasn’t… but life was.
I have a good relationship with my mother now. But it hasn’t been always like that. Growing up, she didn’t show much affection and she rarely told us she loved us. See the pattern? In my teenage years, I would walk up to her while she was cooking arroz con pollo, and give her a hug. I’ve felt her body tense up and I would tell her I love you and insist she tells me the same in return. Hey, I needed to hear it…ok?
She was going through a difficult time with my dad and they had their issues; and dealt with it behind closed doors. We didn’t know it at that time.
After my parents filed for divorce, she made a conscious decision to love herself and become happy. I witnessed my mother blossom (she’s a late bloomer) to the woman she is today.
She embraces everyone with open arms and will tell you “I love you”. I love this woman. She’s my best friend. She’s the first person I call for advice and just to say hello.
Mothers and daughters need to be forgiving of each other.
I asked my sisters to tell me in a word or two to describe our mom.
Daughter #1 (me): “funny and a straight shooter”
Daughter #2: “Give me an hour to think about it lol…selfless”
Daughter #3: “Giving, caring and funny”
Daughter #4: “Loyal”
My mom is a loving, genuine, understanding and caring woman. I’m blessed to have her in my life; the words and stories above just barely scratch the surface.